Crosstalk is an amazing thing to do if you’re aiming at reaching full fluency in a foreign language. It works from an absolute beginner level, as I’ve tried it myself with many languages I knew zero of. I’ve also used it to teach some Japanese to many people with no knowledge of the language at all. Because of my experience with input-only methods and all the variety of topics you can discuss, I suspect that by doing only crosstalk you can go from zero all the way to spoken fluency. Also, because you spend the whole time engaged in conversation, my guess right now is that it should probably be the fastest (most efficient) way to get a good basis in the language. After that you would only need to get some more exposure to the language in a variety of situations, like going shopping, so you can learn the specific social norms and the expressions used in those cases.
On the outside, Crosstalk looks a lot like language exchange. And it is language exchange. I would argue it’s the most authentic form of language exchange that exists. The experience of it, though, is very different to traditional language exchange.
Crosstalk as a principle is very simple. In fact, it is so simple that it can be described in a single sentence:
Speak only your own language.
Like any other language exchange, you want to pair up with someone who speaks the language you want to learn, and who is interested in learning the language you speak. However, in this case, there’s no switching between languages for half of the time. Instead, both people listen to their target languages 100% of the time, and practice speaking them 0% of the time.
This has several advantages:
- Because you are never forced to speak your target language, you can pay more attention to trying to understand what your partner is telling you, and you learn more. Also you are much less stressed, since you don’t struggle to come up with words or worry about making mistakes.
- You learn without translations. That means no (or very little) interference from your mother tongue.
- You don’t need to use grammar and words that you don’t know well yet. That also reduces the interference from your mother tongue.
- You don’t need to speak before getting used to how the language should really sound. In the long run, that results in a clearer pronunciation that’s easier to understand by native speakers.
- More efficient than other language exchanges, since you are not spending half of the time in each language.
- It can be used at any level, since you’re not required to speak the language. Even if you’re an absolute beginner, there are many strategies that allow you to have an actual conversation without falling back to a common language, and start picking up words that way.
- Below, in the section For Every Level, I explain how this works.
And that’s in addition to all the other advantages that come with any language exchange:
[*]You learn always in context. Be it words, expressions, or grammar. Words just stick much more when you hear them in conversation and you’re expected to understand them.
[*]It’s easy! Besides not being forced to speak, doing crosstalk one-on-one means that your partners can adapt their language to your level of understanding. Your understanding goes up, and so does your learning.
[*]It’s really interesting. You are talking with a native speaker of the language. You’re making friends, and learning about their lives, their childhood, their country and their culture.
https://dreaminglanguages.wordpress.com ... crosstalk/